Useful information : When to go, Getting around...
When to go
Guadeloupe enjoys a hot climate whose constant temperatures invite the holidaymaker to indulge in long afternoon naps.
The dry season from December to May is the best time to explore the island. It is also the peak tourist season. You will be able to enjoy the beaches, go diving in the coral reefs, walking in the forests and hiking up the Soufrière. Pack a warm jumper if you plan on staying up in the hills on the island. Don’t miss the carnival season, from January until Ash Wednesday, whose boisterous parades set the whole island on fire!
During the rest of the year, the island’s winter is mainly rainy, and cyclones are also possible in August-September, which are best avoided. However, if you are in Guadeloupe in November, you will be able to witness All Souls Day, which is far from melancholic or sad here: the cemeteries and houses are lit up with thousands of candles.
Formalities and useful addresses
French Embassy in London – 58 Knightsbridge - London SW1X 7JT - [TEL] +44-207-0731000 - www.ambafrance-uk.org
French Embassy in Washington – 4101 Reservoir Road - Washington DC 20007 - [TEL] +1-202-9446000 - www.ambafrance-us.org
Guadeloupe Islands Tourism Board – www.visitguadeloupe.co.uk
British Honorary Consulate in Pointe-a-Pitre – Bel Air Desrozières - 97170 Pointe-à-Pitre - [TEL] (+590) 825757 or (+590) 828923
U.S. Embassy in Pointe-a-Pitre – 13 Place de l'Eglise - 97110 Point-a-Pitre - [TEL] (+590) 90-22-44
Money and budget
Banks are open Mon-Fri from 8-12pm and 2-4pm. They close at 3pm during the summer and midday on the day before a national holiday. Enquire during the carnival period.
ATMs can be found in most towns (though they are rarer in la Désirade and Saintes).
While most of the hotels accept credit cards, the local B&Bs rarely do. The safest course is to estimate your daily spending in advance and carry the required amount on you in cash.
Car rental for 1 week (category A): £175-265/€200-295.
1 night for 2 in a cottage without breakfast: £35-70/€40-80.
1 night for 2 in a hotel with breakfast: £100-180/€120-2000.
Scooter rental for 1 day in the Saintes: £25/€30.
1 introduction scuba dive: £35-45/€40-50.
1-day boat trip in the mangrove: £45-52/€50-60.
1 bottle of white rum: £5-8/€5.50-8.
Health and safety
Current is 220V so American travellers will need an AC adapter.
In addition to regular French public holidays, May 27 – Abolition of slavery.
Accommodation in Guadeloupe consists of hotels, holiday cottages and B&Bs. A number of small hotels, called Creole inns, have been developing lately. These small structures mix the services of a hotel while still giving a glimpse of the local daily life. There are no campsites on the island however.
Hostels and B&Bs rarely take credit cards.
Opening hours tend to vary from one post office to another but are generally: Mon-Fri 8am-12pm and 2-4pm except Wednesday afternoons, and Sat 8am-12pm.
Pôle Caraïbes International Airport – www.guadeloupe.aeroport.fr (French)